Disability Atlantic Arts Symposium opens online October 22-24


The Handicap Atlantic Arts Symposium (DAAS) is an online gathering for the first time bringing together artists from Atlantic Canada identified as having a disability.

Taking place from October 22 to 24, the symposium will consist of three round tables: “Access to finance: where is the money? “,” A Conversation with Funders “and” Strange Avenues “.

The event ends with a captivating lineup of drag cabaret, burlesque, spoken word, poetry, performance art, comedy and circus.

DAAS promises a thoughtful framework for discovering new artists and opportunities, and sharing ideas and stories, all with the goal of unifying the undeniable arts community of people with disabilities in Atlantic Canada.

The Symposium offers ASL interpretation, closed captions, transcriptions and a mix of visual descriptions and integrated audio descriptions.

We met with members of the symposium planning committee from each Atlantic province and asked them: “What does it mean to you to have the Disability Atlantic Arts Symposium for the first time? “

(Courtesy of Paul Power)

Paul Power, Newfoundland and Labrador

“The Atlantic Arts Symposium for Persons with Disabilities is an important step in strengthening and building a stronger network of support, creation and collaboration among artists in Atlantic Canada who identify as living. with a disability. Power says. “For too long, support, recognition and awareness of our industry has mostly existed in the larger, more urban areas of the country.

“By formally creating opportunities to come together and share, we can increase representation and opportunities for under-represented artists in our communities in Atlantic Canada. Most importantly, this initiative is led by artists who identify as living with a disability, ensuring that programming, priorities and practices are based on the informed perspectives of those with valuable lived experience. “

(Courtesy of April Hubbard)

April Hubbard, Nova Scotia

“The DAAS is important because it is the first time that we, artists with disabilities, are able to feel a sense of belonging! We won’t have to do it on our own, ”says Hubbard. “As an artist living with a disability, to participate, I have to write scripts, create choreographies, design costumes, reserve a space, find funding, bring together a cast and a team, while being a performer, editor, director and producer all in one. .

“We can’t just create art, we have to fill all the roles within the team; our art is always political and our story must represent every member of the disability community. It makes the artistic process both fulfilling and exhausting.

“There are a few of us fighting thick and thin to tell our stories through our disability art, but geographic separation and additional societal segregation based on types of disability isolate us,” Hubbard said. “The Disability Atlantic Arts Symposium is designed by artists with disabilities to provide a space where we can support each other, learn from each other, inspire each other and encourage those who find innovative ways to create art. unique, despite all obstacles! “

(Courtesy of Ysabelle Vautour)

Ysabelle Vautour, New Brunswick

“This is something that I have wanted for a few years now, so I look forward to it. So far I have created on my own, but I would like to collaborate with other artists on art projects for them. disabled people, ”says Vautour.

“I think it’s important to have a community so that we can talk about the issues we face and find out how we can grow in our professional development. Sometimes artists need help getting things done and it’s good to be able to share resources. “

Alexis Bulman, Prince Edward Island

(Courtesy of Alexis Bulman)

“From 2017 to 2020, I lived in Montreal, working as an artist. I was new to the city and didn’t really have any friends or speak the language. Despite this, it didn’t take long for me to find my community, a community of disabled artists, organizers, activists and more, ”Bulman says.

“I credit events and programs like Vibe: transforming ableism and audism through the arts, a 3-day international symposium supported by the Concordia CDSWG; Interrogation Access Residence, supported by Spectrum Productions and OBORO; and in-kind support programs offered to the MAI Alliance. “

“My creative career and my personal life have benefited tremendously from all of these experiences – and that’s what I hope DAAS will do for artists here in Atlantic Canada. I moved to PEI. So I can’t wait for the Disability Atlantic Arts Symposium to meet artists with disabilities who live and work here and start to find that sense of community again! , support programs and opportunities, so that our creative careers can flourish here. “

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